Child #1: Mommy, can I have a snack?
Me: No, you had breakfast 10 minutes ago.
3 minutes go by.
Child #2: Can I have a snack?
Me: It's not snack time yet.
4 more minutes pass.
Child # 3: Mommy, can I have a snack?
No word of a lie. These kids live and breathe to eat. And don't think that they aren't having full, filling meals in between these snacks. They are. My youngest child, ever since he could talk he would ask for snacks almost every 15 minutes for awhile. I used to give them snacks whenever they seemed hungry, but after the last child was born and seemed to not be able to think of anything else but food I had to put an end to the "snack anytime" idea. Now my kids have a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack around the same time every day. As you see by the above conversation it hasn't put a total end to the endless asking for snacks, but it has lessened it.
Sometimes in between snack time and meal time if they ask for a snack I'll tell them they can have an apple. If they chose not to eat the apple then they must not have been very hungry in my opinion.
Anyways, all that to say, feeding these three kids can quickly add up. So what's a frugal mom to do? Well, stick to the frugal snacks that fit our budget of course! Here's a list of frugal snacks to feed your constantly hungry children - please tell me it's not just my children who are always looking for a snack!
Popcorn - buy the popcorn you can make on the stove or in your air popper.
Homemade Granola Bars - so much cheaper than storebought. Check out the recipe I like over at Living on a Dime.
Apples - Good for them, and cheap.
In Season Fruit - Always by fruit -or any produce for that matter - that is in season. You will pay less.
Saltine Crackers - Peanut butter, jam, honey, or whatever else you think of to top these crackers. Tell me you don't remember eating hundreds of these as a kid?
Yogurt - Make your own, or buy the store brand for a low-cost snack.
Pretzels - We buy the store brand at $1.27 a bag.
Smoothies - I can make a smoothie big enough for all of us with a banana, a cup of frozen fruit, some yogurt or kefir, spinach, and water. It's full of nutrition and stretches far. Make it without the yogurt or kefir for a cheaper or dairy-free option.
Muffins - Bake your own. I often use up bananas that are going bad to whip up a batch.
Cinnamon Toast - Toast topped with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar make for a delicious treat.
Ants on a Log - Top celery with peanut butter and raisins.
If you are looking for cheap ideas to feed your growing children, hopefully this list will help you. Happy Snacking! :)